Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed categorized Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) along with Al-Shabbab in a speech he delivered on the inauguration of Ethio-Kenyan border roads today, December 09, 2020.
“Because peace is a foundation for everything that we are aspiring to transform the life of our people if we could eliminate Al shabab and OLF from this region you can see how this people can be transformed into one family, one country and one people” were the words of the prime minister on the speech he gave today.
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is a political organization established in 1973 to lead the national liberation struggle of the Oromo people, one of the major ethnic groups in Ethiopia. The organization has participated in uncoordinated resistance for many decades.
OLF has been labeled as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian parliament along with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), and Ginbot 7, Al-Shabaab and Al qaeda in May 2011 using the former infamous Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP). The ATP was widely known for retaliating against any opposing political speech and peaceful protest by labelling them as terrorist acts and encouraged unfair trials of those convicted.
When Abiy came to power in April 2018, after having a discussion with OLF, ONLF and Ginbot 7, he reinstated these organizations outlawed by the previous administration. Following that OLF was authorized to enter Ethiopia along with its armed force. Part of that armed force, known as Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) or Shene separated from OLF and built its wing. Currently, OLA is battling with Ethiopia’s defense force in the south-west part of the country.